Monday, December 15, 2008


It's not 'our' railroad, but that's how it probably looked like coming around the corner:

While I was googling for the former railroad running through Legacy, I heard a train whistle. Might that have been a ghost train? Google found a website on ghosts in Okahumpka where 'our' railroad originates:

"Hello. I have an update on the train whistle. Yesterday around 2:30 in the afternoon I actually heard that train whistle while I was on 33. It was so close that I actually slowed down pretty fast. I then looked in the fields on both sides for some tracks or a train. I did not see anything. I have heard trains before and was always curious if there was a train track around Mascotte or Leesburg. That is when I found this site. It is definitely exciting.
Submitted by Michelle

I live on Fourth Street in Okahumpka. If you look up my side of Fourth st on mapquest or Tom Tom they do not show the road but the old railroad tracks that used to be where my road now is. The train depot was where my nieghbors house now stands. Anyone in this nieghborhood could tell you that late at night you can still hear the whistle of the train. The ghost of a young girl with braided pig tails can sometimes be seen walking down the now paved road walking away from the direction of the old train depot. Once I was outside when she appeared. The air seemed
to feel heavy and I had an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and when I looked up there she was walking with her back to me. She never looks up but always looks at her feet as she walks.
Submitted by P, 34 years old"
Riverwalk in our community.
The railroad bridge is close by to the right. Cypress roots

Winter grass
Live oak

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Citrus Grove Leftovers

Leftovers from the former citrus grove
This navel orange tree stands next to a jeep trail running along the former railroad bed in the woods. Satsuma tree at the clay pond
Satsuma tree at the edge of the woods in 'the bird sanctuary'.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Satellite Photos

In the 1998 satellite photo, the citrus groves to the left and bottom right appear unwatered. The railroad bed is clearly visible in both photos. Compare the expansive wetlands with the photo of four years later.
2002 Satellite Photo
The pond to the upper right was dug to extract kaolin/clay for the manufacture of china in Europe.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cuban Tree Frog

My neighbor Maggie took this photo yesterday. It's the biggest Cuban tree frog I have seen so far.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Railroad Tracks from the Air

Photos by Dave O., resident of Legacy. November 2008

The railroad tracks were laid across the wetlands. The position of two previous bridges is visible.

The tracks then continued into what is now the woods, but was pasture or orange grove before. The orange groves are still visible on older satellite photos. They were probably given up in the freezes of the nineteen eighties. The railroad tracks did not run alongside the present woods, but inside. The row of trees at the edge lines the tracks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Railroad Bridge

At the western end of Legacy, a railroad bridge from those bygone days crosses the Palatkaha river.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Former railroad bed behind our neighbor's house

Where Legacy is now built, a railroad used to be running. The former railroad bed is lined with trees, but the middle is packed solid earth with sparse vegetation.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


What does your house look like?
This deconstructed home is located in Venice, California.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Women wearing the Ta'Ovala (mat) around their waist in Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

Almost all governement employees, men and women, wore a black wrap skirt and a mat which was more elegant than the ones in the photo. I read that in Tongans' large extended families there is always a relative who passed away recently. Since black is worn for a year as a sign of mourning, some people never get out of their black clothes.


What is your favorite food?
What is your food staple?

Taro root, market in Nuku'Alofa, capital of the kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific

Thursday, December 4, 2008


What do you consider home?
Where is it?
How many living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, garages?

Hanaiapa, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, South Pacific

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah with its green squares is a lovely town, founded by James Oglethorpe whose statue graces Chippewa Square.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Spanish Moss

Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an epiphytical plant that uses trees as a perch. It is NOT a parasite. Older trees tend to have a denser Spanish moss accumulation. I think that Spanish moss makes trees look quintessentially 'southern'.

While the Vienna Choir Boys took off for South America in 1957, the photographers - 44 years later - made a pit stop in Savannah on their way down to Florida.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Before and After

Clean Slate

Rocky Desert

The Greening

Soon to be showing in this house: The Jungle

Cuban Tree Frog

I think that this bug-eyed monster is probably a Cuban tree frog. How do they get into the screened lanai? They must be able to squeeze their ugly hide through the tiniest openings.

Turtle Day

Don't you look at me like that. I am no turkey!

This turtle munched weeds in a Cowford, Fl backyard.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Dwarf Banana in Leesburg


Loropetalum chinense in Tavares

Monday, November 24, 2008


All cymbidiums are in our NJ greenhouse.


Unknown in Tavares

Dune sunflower in Tavares

Measly yellow bougainvillea in November. I can't wait to show this plant in a year or two from now.

Carolina Jessamine in JAX in December

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Distracted by the many plants in the Discovery Gardens, the search party had almost forgotten about Santa when the red color of many flowers reminded them to pick up their search. Santa, however, remained as elusive as before.





Lake County Discovery Garden

Enticed by the delicious fruit and still hungry, the 'santa search' crew heads to the Lake County Discovery Garden in Tavares to check out the avocado tree.

They also discover coonties which have lived in Florida since the time of the dinosaurs.

Beautiful Mexican sunflowers.

Another relic from prehistoric times: cardboard palm.

Firebush: nectar heaven for humming birds.